Who are we and what do we do.
The Parent Aide Program
is designed to help parents who, for whatever reason, are having trouble with the task of being a parent and need temporary guidance to help them through the difficult times.
The Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children (SSPC) was originally formed in 1976 to provide public education on child abuse and to advocate on behalf of children. Throughout the years, the information provided through the SSPC has influenced the formation and changes to laws and regulations that directly benefit children.
The creation of these programs lead to the need for an SSPC Executive Director to oversee the programs operations. At this time, the Board of Directors shifted to a policy model and became more involved in providing guidance to the Executive Director. In 2002, the SSPC determined that public education was adequately being provided by other organizations and was no longer a key element of the SSPC. As such, the SSPC currently focuses on operating the Parent Aide Program and Saskatoon Crisis Nursery.
You never judged us or put us down you listened and then gave suggestions of what you had seen work and got results.”
– Two Parents
1974 – Dr. Peter Matthew’s wrote a letter to the Editor asking concerned citizens to form a society to protect children from exploitation and neglect. A committee was formed and met monthly to discuss ways to meet the stated objective.
1976 – The Saskatoon Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was registered under the Saskatchewan Societies Act and with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization. The Society organized and presented workshops on child abuse to professionals in Saskatoon and Prince Albert.
1977 – The Society received a small grant from the Department of Social Services to provide education and information relating to child abuse. The Society focused on the areas of corporal punishment in schools and discipline in foster homes. Other pamphlets and brochures were developed to inform the public about child abuse.
1979 – Members of The Society organized public meetings and information is presented on the abuse of adolescents and children in sports. A committee on Family Aides was established with the goal of developing a Family Aide service.
1980 – The Board developed a Family Aide program and submits a request for support and funding from Social Services but is refused this request.
1981 – The Society developed informational kits regarding child abuse for distribution in Saskatoon high schools. The Society also hosted a major conference on child abuse. A proposed program and budget for a “Family Aide” program was once again turned down by Social Services. A logo is designed and the Society changes its name to the shorter “Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children Inc.” A feasibility study was started on the need for a Crisis Nursery. The Dept of Social Services initiated an early childhood stimulation program and requested the SSPC to takeover these responsibilities under a ‘Family Aide’ program.
1982 – Parent Aide program begins operating in February 1982. The SSPC sponsored the Saskatoon Child Abuse Council.
1983 – The SSPC established a Crisis Nursery in the basement of the YWCA in April. In June, the Crisis Nursery was flooded and was moved to Regent Plaza on 3rd Avenue. The SSPC continued to advocate for the ceasing of corporal punishment in schools. The Society also pressured government for the implementation of the recommendations of the Provincial Child Care committee.
1984 – SSPC developed brochures and hosted a major conferences on community involvement in child abuse and protection. The SSPC purchased a house at 1020 Victoria Avenue (current residence) for the Crisis Nursery and to provide a headquarters for the SSPC. The move and purchase is made possible through grants from Social Services, Kinsmen Foundation and Saskatchewan Housing. The SSPC assisted other Saskatchewan communities to form Parent Aide Programs.
1985 – In April an official opening was held for the Crisis Nursery. The Provincial Government approved a grant to contribute to the operations of the Nursery. SSPC continued to advocate against corporal punishment and to not lower the age covered by the Young Offenders Act. Child abuse information and prevention kits were also assembled for distribution to all libraries in the province.
1987 – The SSPC reorganized and became a policy making board. An Executive Director was hired (Art Baalim) to oversee the daily operations of the Parent Aide program and Crisis Nursery program.
1988 – SSPC completed a comprehensive management review including the program operations, budget development and negotiations. The Executive Director assumed the prime responsibility for providing community public education/information.
1989-1994 – The Agency continued to provide public education on the topics of child abuse, child hunger and also supported the implementation of a Child Advocate in the Province of Saskatchewan. The Parent Aide Program experienced some financial restrictions that caused a reduction of Parent Aide positions.
1995-2003 – The focus of the SSPC shifted to the operations of the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery and Parent Aide Program. It was determined that other organizations now provide public education on child protection, child abuse and children’s rights. As such, the SSPC terminated its Public Information/Education program in 2002.
2004-2008 – The Crisis Nursery continued to gain community support through grants and donations. The development of Season4Change was started in 2005 to support the Crisis Nursery through restaurant participation during the Christmas Season. This annual campaign has become an essential fundraiser for the Nursery.
The Parent Aide program added a rural component and can now provide service to families in the areas surrounding Saskatoon. The Parent Aide Program also worked with the Provincial committee to complete a comprehensive Human Resources Plan for all Parent Aide/Family Support groups in Saskatchewan. The recommendations of this report were accepted and implemented by the Ministry of Social Services and resulted in an enhancement to the Parent Aide program.
2008 – Current- Art Baalim retired as Executive Director of the SSPC after 21 years of service.
2012 -The Parent Aide Program moved to a new office located at 502 Ave L S!!
Current – Both the Parent Aide Program and Crisis Nursery Programs continue to operate to help children and families in Saskatoon and surrounding area!
Here’s a historical breakdown, from our early beginnings to our eventual move to our current location.
- 1974: Dr. Peter Matthews initiated the development of The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to help protect children from exploitation and neglect.
- 1976: The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was registered under the Saskatchewan Societies Act and with Revenue Canada as a charitable organization.
- 1979: The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children established a committee of Family Aides. However, a proposed program and budget for a “Family Aide” program was turned down by Social Services in 1980 and 1981.
- 1981: The Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children changed it’s name to The Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children Inc. (SSPC). The Department of Social Services initiated an early childhood stimulation program and requested the SSPC to take over these responsibilities under a “Family Aide” program.
- 1982: The SSPC took over the program for Social Services and began operating the “Parent Aide Program.”
- 1985: The majority of larger centers in the province started developing Parent Aide Services.
- 1987: Parent Aide programs in Saskatchewan formed together to create a provincial Family Support Program. As of 1987, there were 17 programs in Saskatchewan that provide Parent Aide/Family Support services.
- 2005: The Parent Aide program added a rural component that extended Parent Aide services to the area surrounding Saskatoon.
- 2005-2011: The Parent Aide Program continues to expand, develop and grow to meet the high demand for services to Saskatoon and surrounding area families.
- 2012: The Parent Aide Program moves to a new office located at 502 Ave L S in Saskatoon. Up until this time, the Program had used an office space in the Sturdy Stone building. However, due to the growth and expansion of the program, more office space was needed!
- 2013-Current: The Parent Aide Program continues to provide an invaluable service to Saskatoon and surrrounding area families. The program is now available to all families in the community who can benefit from the services of a Parent Aide!